Do memes contribute to obesity among teens? Study says yes

El Paso – Nearly 20 percent of high school students in Texas are considered obese and the state ranks fifth in the U.S. for high school students who are obese, according to the website The State of Obesity. At the same time, Hispanic children in Texas have the highest rate of childhood obesity, or 21.9 percent, followed by non-Hispanic blacks with a rate of 19.5 percent and non-Hispanic whites with a childhood obesity rate of 14.7 percent, according to the Texas Medical Association. Obesity among the youth ages 10-17 accumulated a total of 18.5 percent within the state. And, for the Paso Del Norte region, almost 40 percent of residents between the ages of 18 and 29 are considered obese, and one in three of all El Pasoans are considered obese or overweight. Reasons for obesity in teens range from personal behaviors including eating habits and physical activity to genetics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Diabetes and subsequent weight gain make healthy living a daily challenge

By Isabel Garcia

Leticia Rodriguez – a 66-year-old Segundo Barrio resident – has lost vision in her left eye due to diabetes and says she struggles with everyday living because she is obese. Rodriguez has trouble getting into cars, can’t see her feet and her caregiver performs most of her day-to-day tasks for her because she’s suffering from diabetes and obesity. “My diabetes was part of losing my vision and then it went from there to not being able to lose weight,” Rodriguez said. “You go into all these diets and they work for a little bit, but you get it right back.”

Rodriguez has found support at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe. Rodriguez is one of the 300,000 patients who use the services at La Fe.

El Pasoans eat fast food more than nine times a month. (Jeraldine Ramos/

Can a fat and diabetic El Paso become an active and healthy Sun City?

EL PASO – As Guadalupe Vasquez prepares dinner for her family the aroma of Mexican food fills her El Paso home. After the meal, her family is often glued to the television set not part taking in any physical activities. She is aware that her family’s and other El Paso families’ diet and lack of physical activity make for an unhealthy combination. Studies have shown that Hispanics are more likely to suffer from obesity and type 2-diabetes and the mostly Hispanic residents of El Paso residents pose a perfect example of these health problems. According, to an article written in 2010 by Men’s Health Magazine, the city of El Paso ranked 3rd in the list of 100 fattest cities in the United States. Five Texas cities with a high percentage of Hispanics were among the top 10.

Diabetes affects thousands in El Paso, but the Diabetes Association is on their side

EL PASO — Health is an issue people push aside until it finally becomes an issue and the main health issue in this border city is diabetes. El Paso has long been considered one of the unhealthiest cities in the entire country, ranking as high as number one in obesity by Men’s Fitness magazine in 2009. Diabetes is at the forefront of chronic ailments here and obesity is one of many risk factors for this disease. Ethnicity also plays a role. Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are at higher risk.

El Paso: Drinking our way to obesity

EL PASO — With more than 20 liquor stores, over 100 convenience stores and the many supermarkets and restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages, it is little wonder that El Pasoans are facing an obesity epidemic. Manuel Colorado, a local exercise specialist and nutritionist, works with overweight clients. “It is easy for people in El Paso to gain weight because of their alcohol consumption,” says Colorado. “With nothing else to do in our city; alcohol seems to fill the void of boredom and too much time on the hands.”

While Colorado’s clients are reducing their prospect of obesity by limiting their alcohol intake and exercising, some El Pasoans are doing nothing to better their chances of dodging obesity. “We see obese people walking around El Paso everyday and not doing anything about it,” says Colorado.

Childhood obesity in El Paso on the rise

EL PASO — At nine years of age and 100 pounds, Jorge can’t wait for the lunch bell to ring. He walks straight to the vending machine, like he does every day, to buy a large bag of chips and a soda. For Jorge, his school’s cafeteria food is not tasty enough and the lunch his mother packed for him is long gone. He is starving, despite having eaten breakfast and lunch a few hours ago. Jorge’s eating behavior is similar to other children in El Paso and across the U.S., and is becoming more prevalent as childhood obesity rates continue to rise.